Biggin Hill man finds intimate letters that appear to be the final words of a dying man

News Shopper: The book the letters were found in The book the letters were found in

A Biggin Hill man has uncovered letters that seem to portray the final words of a dying man.

Chris Armstrong, 54, said he bought a book on wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill at a local car boot sale and found a series of very personal letters, signed by ‘Bill’, inside.

The words appear to paint a picture of the writer’s dying days, giving a snapshot of someone’s most deep and intimate thoughts.

Mr Armstrong, who works for an energy company, said the letters leave him feeling “emotional” – he is now hoping to track down a family member, or someone connected to them.

He told News Shopper: “These aren’t meant for anyone else. I know I shouldn’t have them.

“At first I thought one of the letters was a suicide note, but now I think it was just a goodbye.

“They’re very sentimental – it’s worth the effort trying to find his family. If it were my dad I would like to have them.

“I actually get quite emotional thinking about it. But I’m just an old softy I suppose”.

One very private letter is addressed to Bill’s doctor, while others are addressed to ‘Iris’ – thought to be the man’s wife.

In a poignant beginning of one, an extract reads: “I know that you will understand it’s time for me to go,” and continues, “I do hope the rest of your years are tranquil.”

The writer finishes by giving his affections, first to ‘Derek, Denise, Richard, and Alison,’ and finally signing it with “all my love, Bill” – alongside three kisses.

Mr Armstrong explained he was able to trace Bill’s address, in Gillmans Road, Orpington, from the letter to his doctor – but found it is now occupied by someone not mentioned in the documents.

Other clues include a love of football guessing game ‘Spot the Ball’, and notes on the country’s financial crisis.

In one aside, Bill looks to be concerned with the national debt and questions spending money on “expensive wars”.

Mr Armstrong added: “I just want to return the letters to someone they mean something to.

“They are touching words. I really want to return them to a family member”.

Could you help? Email Joshua.barrie@london.newsquest.co.uk or tweet @joshbythesea

As a matter of respect Mr Armstrong does not want to disclose the letters in full. 

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